National senior cross country champion Bedan Karoki will defend his title at the KCB/AK IAAF permit meeting this Saturday at Uhuru Gardens.
At stake will be 24 slots to represent the country at the World Cross Country Championship in Poland in March. This time round, Karoki faces a tough task to to defend his title with record 132 athletes having entered for the senior men's race. Some of the big names included for the event are Africa cross country champion Clement Langat, 2010 world cross country champion Joseph Ebuya alongside Kenya Defence Forces champ Peter Matelong. Others are Linus Chumba and Mark Kiptoo.
The Kenya Police who have always provided top runners are well represented in Saturday's showdown with Geoffrey Kipsang, Isaiah Kiplagat Koech and Josphatt Bett flying their flag.
Timothy Kiptoo will lead Kenya Prisons alongside Fredrick Musyoki, Simon Cheprot and John Mwagangi.
The senior women's 8km race has been watered down by the absence of reigning world cross country champion Vivian Cheruiyot. tHe double world champion opted out to concentrate on the defence of her track titles at the World championship in Moscow, Russia. Linet Masai, who has been runner-up twice in the category has also pulled out.
This leaves 2010 world champion Emily Chebet as the front runner for the title. She will be be pushed by Hyvine Kiyeng, who won the Nyhahururu leg of the cross country series, Janet Khisa, Gladys Cherono and Linet Chepkurui.
World junior title holder Geoffrey Kimworor has pulled out of the event as he tries his luck in road races. In his absence the battle will be among Emmanuel Bett, Hillary Langat, Josephat Kiprop and Moses Mukono.
In the Junior women's category, world junior 1500 metres champion Faith Chepngtich is up against her rival Jackline Chebwogen, Margret Chelimo and Gloria Kite among others.